Can people's workouts become a source of renewable energy in cities?
A fitness vessel that moves along the Seine River by harnessing energy from passengers' workouts?
International design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati, working with the leading fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym, the non-profit architecture group Terreform ONE and the urban regeneration institute URBEM, has unveiled the Paris Navigating Gym project, a human-powered Gym Boat that cruises along the Seine River by using energy sourced from passengers' workouts. The project was developed in response to a public call organized in the French capital.
The Paris Navigating Gym is a 20-meter long fitness vessel that can host up to 45 people. The fitness area features Technogym's ARTIS machines – a special typology of sports equipment that harnesses human energy and makes it available to further uses.
By doing exercise on the ARTIS bikes and cross trainers, guests can seamlessly contribute to powering the boat, which in turn will sail along the Seine on its route through the city, providing access to anybody who wants it.
"The Paris Navigating Gym investigates the potential of harnessing human power, at the same time producing a new urban experience and envisioning ways to further integrate the river in the city's mobility infrastructure", says Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab in Boston and a founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati.
A preliminary concept for a "River Gym" was initially developed by Terreform ONE in 2008, for use in New York City. The Paris Navigating Gym represents an ideal evolution of that proposal, whose feasibility is ensured by further analysis made by URBEM (business strategy) and UR Lab (urban strategy).